Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions 2009 NCAA Mens Basketball Preview

By Joel Welser


<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions


Southwestern Athletic Conference


2008-09: 13-18, 11-7

2008-09 postseason: none

Coach: George Ivory (13-18 at Arkansas Pine Bluff, 13-18 overall)


Arkansas Pine Bluff has spent many years near the bottom of the Southwestern Athletic Conference pecking order. That has begun to change in recent years, but the Golden Lions were not ready to take the next step and seriously compete for a SWAC title. That might change in year two of Coach George Ivory’s reign.


Key Losses: G Eric Brooks


Key Newcomers:

Most of this recruiting class is addressing the future needs of the frontcourt. Terry Tidwell is a 6-8 forward and Dominic Moore is 6-9. Moore has some experience at the junior college level and if any of the newcomers are going to crack the regular rotation, he is the likely candidate. Seven-footer Brandon Baker has potential, but he might need some time before he can make a big impact. Incoming freshman point guard Vincent Martin could work his way into the regular rotation as well if nobody else can step up and prove to be a capable backup ball handler.



But handling the ball is not where this team needs to improve. The Golden Lions return four guards who spent most of their time on the wings and none of them averaged over 8.2 points per game. Gavin Montgomery is the best shooter of the bunch and, at 6-5, he can get to the basket as well. However, Montgomery spent most of last season providing a spark off the bench and it could be the same this time around. Tavaris Washington did a good job at the small forward spot, tallying 6.8 points and 3.8 rebounds, but he is a turnover machine. Savalance Townsend started a majority of the games as the shooting guard last season, but he needs his shot to be more consistent or a roleplayer like Rickey Parks will battle him for playing time.



The frontcourt was a little more consistent than the backcourt. Forward Tyree Glass averaged 8.2 points per game and 4.4 rebounds last year and can stretch out the defense with his mid-range jumper, although he also tries to push his range a little too much. The same can be said for 6-8 center Lebaron Weather. Both of those players shot under 25 percent from beyond the arc. It is nice to have big men who can stretch the floor, but Glass and Weather are both seniors who need to learn their limitations. What Weathers does do is hit the glass very effectively and block the occasional shot. George Davis will battle it out with the newcomers for most of the minutes off the bench up front.


Who to Watch:

This is an experienced team now and they have an experienced leader in Terrance Calvin. The 6-2 guard led the team with 12.0 points and 3.6 assists and even added 5.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals per contest. If Arkansas Pine Bluff wants to make a serious run at the SWAC title or in the SWAC Tournament, Calvin will have to carry them and he has the skills to do it.


Final Projection:

It is helpful that this is a team full of upperclassmen. The lack of a consistent outside shooting threat made it difficult for the big men to find space in the paint and it is important for Montgomery or Townsend to hit more long balls. Nobody on this team averaged more than one three-pointer per game and that is not going to be good enough to win a championship if it happens again.


Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA


Projected Starting Five:

Terrance Calvin, Senior, Guard, 12.0 points per game

Savalance Townsend, Sophomore, Guard, 6.3 points per game

Tavaris Washington, Senior, Guard, 6.8 points per game

Tyree Glass, Senior, Forward, 8.2 points per game

Lebaron Weather, Senior, Center, 7.3 points per game